1. Florida and Kansas State are the top two teams in the country.
College football has always been run on a “What have you done for me lately?” format. For some reason, the human voters in the BCS have been clinging to Alabama being the best team. In the rankings, you have to earn your spot and the truth of the matter is that Florida and Kansas State have. Alabama is ranked first because it won the National Championship last year and it has an amazing coach that always finds a way to make them a good team. They are ranked for what they haven’t proven yet.
Alabama’s only ranked win is over Michigan, a two-loss team that is gaining momentum but is still only ranked 22nd in the BCS. True, it has a top-20 defense and its two losses were to top-five teams, but its sloppy games and lack of tough competition have been hurting it in the polls. The truth is that Alabama’s strength of schedule looks awful at this point in the season. Their schedule does get tougher starting this week, but there is no argument for Alabama having earned the number one ranking so far.
Florida easily should be the top-ranked team in the country. Florida did get the luxury of basically playing every hard game at home this season, but it did go on the road and beat a Texas A&M that is ranked 20th now and gave sixth-ranked LSU all it could handle last weekend in a 24-19 loss. The Gators have also defeated two teams that were ranked in the top-ten at the time (LSU: 4th, South Carolina: 9th), and an upcoming game against Georgia will give them another top-ten win if they win. Their win against 23rd-ranked Tennessee has lost its value, though. Regardless, Florida has double the claim Alabama has at the top spot.
Kansas State hasn’t been a slouch either, winning against tough teams on the road. The Wildcats traveled to Norman and took down a sixth-ranked Oklahoma team that has regained its position as a top-ten team and Big 12 contender. Kansas State’s 55-14 beatdown of 13th-ranked West Virginia showed the country it wasn’t a one-game wonder too. Kansas State is a surprise team that doesn’t have the past accolades of Alabama, but I think it has earned the second spot over Alabama as well. The past shouldn’t affect this season’s rankings. Either way, Alabama will be able to prove they’re the best by the end of the year. It’s just too early to crown them now.
2. Oregon’s schedule is a liability.
While people join hands across America and worship Alabama despite it having a dreadfully easy schedule, Oregon is in a free fall because of their’s. For the second consecutive week, Oregon has been skipped in the rankings despite posting a blowout win in the only game played in that period. Oregon has only played two ranked teams and both were barely in the top-25. Voters aren’t satisfied with their season despite the Ducks’ dominance on offense. Another blow to the Ducks have been their lack of style points. The Ducks have jumped to giant leads early in games, while keeping the other teams to little points. The problem is that Oregon’s backup defensive players have given up multiple touchdowns late in the games, which makes the final score look like the games were somewhat competitive. Oregon needs Oregon State, USC and Stanford to win out if it wants to have any chance of beating an undefeated Kansas State or Notre Dame in the BCS rankings.
3. Colin Klein is the new front-runner for the Heisman trophy.
Optimus Klein was unstoppable against 13th-ranked West Virginia and ex-Heisman front-runner, Geno Smith. Klein completed 19 of 21 passes for 323 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 41 yards and four touchdowns. Few players in the country can be the star quarterback and power running back of his team at the same time (Tebow, anyone?) With 1,397 passing yards and 10 passing touchdowns, while only throwing two interceptions, he is a legitimate threat through the air. His 551 rushing yards aren’t exactly sacred ground, but his 14 touchdowns are unbelievable. When you combine the stats together, you have a do-it-all leader that is almost impossible to stop. Klein isn’t so head-and-shoulders above the rest that the Heisman trophy is locked down, but he is the favorite right now.
Agree? Disagree? Do you have another “Thing We Learned?” Let me know in the comments!
-Marty F. Nemec